Home Blog Lost with our heads held high – AFC vs Bayern Review

Lost with our heads held high – AFC vs Bayern Review

by SimonSEEZ

Same way nothing feels better than the morning after a victory, the morning after a loss usually feels a tad worse than the first few hours after the game because we have had the time to calm down and then soak in all the consequences of the loss whether it means you have been knocked out of the top of the league or out of a competition. Regular readers of this site would know I rarely write reviews and that’s largely due mostly to lack of time to do one and i feel to do a proper review of a game anyways you need to watch it at least twice, a luxury I really don’t have.

Anyways, I took some notes down during the game yesterday during the game and attempted one last night, sadly I couldn’t get past the first paragraph as Arsenal losing any game leaves me always with some sort of a mental scar, so now I’ve got 45’ to do one before work starts. So let’s see how of it we can get in

The game itself was in a way a beautiful display of how far we have come as a team especially in the first 20miniutes. We have recently started games very slowly, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Man United and Liverpool at Anfield so the start yesterday showed how much the players were willing to get into this encounter as aside the first half against Napoli and the performance against Hull City I haven’t seen Arsenal play that good this season.


The manager choose to start with Yaya Sanogo and almost all the reaction on twitter was positive, I had a discussion on twitter with @MasterMind1808 about his inclusion on the starting line up going into what definitely is our toughest game of the season and I believe it just comes down to how Wenger sees Giroud performances of late. I don’t think it was either medically enforced or tactical or even due to Giroud recent affairs but Giroud has been poor and a poor player was replaced by our supposed next best option in that position which happens to be Yaya Sanogo . I really wonder what this says for the career of Lukas Podolski in the club if he isn’t trusted down the middle in a game like this. For Niklas Bentner, if a 19 year old gets ahead of you then I guess you might as well tear up your contract.


Sanogo came closest to opening our account early on and Manuel Neuer showed why he is one of the best goalies in the world with an outstanding save. A feat he proved again by saving from an Ozil from the penalty spot. Wenger went on to say after the game he prefers players run up to the ball when taking penalties and Ozil seems to have his style of taking them. A style that hasn’t worked twice now and I would very well doubt that he would be taking any more penalties. If Arteta was on the pitch he wouldn’t have been taking it anyways, but Ozil’s effect or in effect on the game yesterday more than just the penalty miss.


The referee was forced into making a decision when Woijiech was adjudged to have brought Robben down when he was clear in on goal. I think It was a clear penalty but the decision to send him off was in my opinion the wrong one. By the book of the law the referee made the correct decision but there has to be some room for common sense and the ref yesterday seems to be lacking a lot of it. What was our goalie meant to do? Sit and wait for Robben to come at him? Didn’t he have a right to go after the ball? Bringing down Robben was more from a collision rather than an intentional act to stop a clear scoring opportunity. This decision meant Wenger had to pull out Cazorla and I think the decision was made based on the fact he is just recovering from illness else honestly would have had Ozil out of the game but I can understand why the manager couldn’t have made that decision. Pulling your most expensive player out of a game of that caliber especially after he had missed the penalty would have done a lot of damage to Ozil’s confidence.

It was all Bayern from then on and the goal from Kross was simply spectacular and it really was just a matter of time as Nacho Monreal and Ozil were really struggling to over any cover from the left. On the basis of Nacho’s recent performances it’s evident that Gibbs is way ahead of him. Ozil doesn’t make that many tackles to be honest, he is not that kind of player most likely never will be and defending is not a big part of his game hence I think he should have been pulled out of the game long before it was over.


Bayern dominated as expected as lived for the most part defending our penalty area and we have to give credited to Flamini, Kos and Per for the work they put in ensuring we didn’t concede as much as we might have. All I prayed for at that point was just one break, one run, those kinds of three touch runs we used to have in the past, Seaman to Viera, Viera finds Henry, Henry glides through the left side of the pitch after passing the ball to himself and scores a screamer like he did against Real Madrid away. One look at the players we had, a tired Ozil, a 19 year old forward and my dream died immediately.

All in all, it was a game we could be proud of our performance and it leaves us asking many What Ifs?

What if Gibbs didn’t get injured?

Will injury ever let Gibbs fulfill his potential?

What if the referee had given a reasonable Yellow instead of a red?

What if Ozil would have scored his penalty?

What if we had Walcott and Ramsey?

What If? What If? What if?


One question we won’t be asking would be joy fans coming together can bring to the ground. @Redaction group yesterday organized a fan project  that saw them all though the past week encouraging fans to get in early into the ground and hold cards up in wonderful display before the game and anytime we score. Sadly we didn’t score and we never got to see that beauty again but well done to the guys that pulled it off. I know it would have cost them some money to print the cards and all so if you enjoyed the atmosphere even from home like I did, should they ever need a donation I would enjoin all Arsenal fans to send in theirs cos I would.

Have a great day friends. If you find any errors, please don’t hang me, not much time for editing. Work starts in a bit.


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Olayinka February 20, 2014 - 9:07 am

Very nice write-up as usual…the only problem I had yday was d Ozil issue…Wenger shld be more concerned about the WHOLE team not the confidence level of ONE player!..it was obvious that Ozil WILL not track back to help on d left wind defensively(evident as Wilshere had to scream at Ozil for letting Rafinha js stroll by him,even tho he looked back and saw rafinha make d move)..Carzola would av put in a better shift defensively and dres always a spark about carzola going forward..well,dt game is gone,we weren’t woeful,we take it to dm 11v111 in germany.we face sunderland,we av to ‘bully’ those ones 🙂

SimonSEEZ February 20, 2014 - 11:33 am

Thanks Yinka,

We need to go after Sunderland with a venom. Like a man released from prison after 25years runs into his wife or something…

Adeniyi Olufemi February 20, 2014 - 11:00 am

Is Boateng not the last man when he foul Ozil in the box? Had he not denied Ozil a goal scoring opportunities?

SimonSEEZ February 20, 2014 - 11:30 am

Was he the last man? Like I said in the post. I haven’t really seen the match again afterwards but overall I am not a big fan of giving red cards for offences that are not deemed injurious to a player so I don’t have a problem with Boateng not getting a red card

Akwu February 20, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Nice one Seez, Paul Tomkins of Naija lol! This not time to lament what would have been, what if Ribery played? What if Alaba a sure spot kick scorer had scored? and it goes on, the point is Arsenal has to accept defeat and move on. See how to correct their mistakes in the second leg, this tie is not over for me. As for decisions, sometimes they go your way, other times they don’t, it’s part of the game. Webb almost got demoted to Championship because his error not to call a penalty for the foul on Suarez by OX and you know the implication, we got knocked out. So stop whining like your manager and move on.

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